Marc Calleja Bayliss
Track Number #9 off the fifth studio album by Ira Losco is entitled Dead or Alive (Save my Soul) and it seems that the public have grown extremely fond of the track, so much that they have bought it several times to make it peak at number #1 on the iTunes singles chart. Jagged House, the company that represents Ira Losco have already released two official singles in the form of What I'd Give, winner of the Best Video Award at the Malta Music Awards, and The Person I Am which features vocals by David Leguesse and has amassed several views through viral website, YouTube. It is yet unknown whether Dead or Alive (Save my Soul) will be officially released as a single but nevertheless, the public have a right to select the tracks which they enjoy listening to the most.
To signify the importance of the first two digital singles, official music videos were created and as a matter of fact, both tracks made it to number #1 on iTunes as well as on leading radio station, 89.7 Bay. The album itself entitled The Fire was at the top position of the chart for five consecutive weeks and despite sales still shifting at the moment, it finds itself at number #2 behind the album 21 by British singer/songwriter Adele. 'I keep re-confirming that The Fire keeps burning! So many positive comments which obviously make me ecstatic!' are the words which echoed from the mouth of Ira Losco this morning as the editorial team of escflashmalta.com got in contact to announce her latest success. We urge you to continue purchasing the record through the iTunes Digital Store and to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for another blog from Ira Losco in a couple of weeks time.
Source: iTunes, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)
Gianluca, a recently graduated medical doctor, will be representing Malta at the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but prior to jetting off for the esteemed event in a couple of weeks time, he had teamed up with the National Blood Transfusion Service and the team of Xarabank for a day of events outside the National Blood Transfusion Centre in St.Luke’s Square, G’Mangia. The aim, generally speaking is for the public to give blood and aid increase the supply which has been running on a relatively low amount in recent weeks. The eveng is taking place today between 08:00 and 15:00 CET.
A number of special guests will be making their way to greet the present crowd noting that fan favourites, Gorġ & Pawlu known for their hit track Hot & Famous will be present as well as former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Kurt Calleja whose song This Is The Night took Malta back into the final for the very first time in two years. Gianluca, being a doctor as mentioned above will be assisting the nurses and doctors present yet nevertheless, will surely bring a smile to those present during the day especially with his charisma clearly always viable for those to see.
In a Press Release issued by the Public Broadcasting Services in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service, it is stated that 'anyone interested in donating blood is advised to eat lightly and drink water before visiting the blood transfusion centre. Alcohol and food that contains high fat content, such as junk food should be avoided before the blood donation as this may impact the results of the blood tests. Blood donors will be required to present their ID Card before the blood transfusion takes place.'
In the meantime, Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat will be representing the country in the sixth slot of the second semi-final. According to bookmakers, our entry is one of the top eight within the semi-final and should therefore qualify. Gianluca has listed the Icelandic entry Ég á líf performed by Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson as his favourite entry. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Television Malta
Chiara, one of the most notable female vocalists in the Maltese Islands has been working on a number of original tracks in recent months following her signing to independent record label, Hands Up Music which is known for supporting the Icelandic acts at the Eurovision Song Contest. Following the release of her first single Forget Forgetting Me to positive reviews, many would have thought that the vocalist would be somewhat alternating between genres but as the release of her new single Żarbun came earlier than expected, the dance genre is still very much well represented. Joining her and providing guest vocals on the new track is none other than Haffi Haff, who also hails from Iceland and tried to represent his nation at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with the track Ho Ho Ho, We Say Hey Hey Hey alongside his group, Merzedes Club as well as in 2008 as a soloist with the track The Wiggle Wiggle Song.
Chiara represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions, the first time being in 1998 with the track The One That I Love composed by Jason Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina, the second time being in 2005 with the self-penned song Angel and last but not least in 2009 with the entry What If We composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Gregory Bilsen. The renowned vocalist has been re-branding herself in recent months, ditching away her ballads for an r'n'b / dance type of sound. The european audience had the pleasure to see this new image during the Melodifestivalen where on behalf of the Maltese Jury, Chiara gave the votes. Her latest single, Żarbun which of course translates into Shoe is quite intriguing and escflashmalta.com urges you to have a listen whilst staying in touch for all of the latest news.
Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Stano Simor from the Czech Republic represent different music genres but nevertheless, their tastes hover and they have predominantly agreed with each other as they analyse and assess the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The ten (10) qualifiers as decided through their respective outcome will be revealed on the day of the actual semi-final to increase the suspense. In the second semi-final, seventeen (17) countries will be in contention and in slot number six (6), the producers have decided to put none other than Malta represented by the Public Broadcasting Services. The tiny nation will be participating in the esteemed international competition for the twenty-sixth time. Gianluca, a first time participant in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was the winner following a cumulative public and jury vote with his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat.
Although fully committed to what he describes as his vocational calling, music has always served as a good break for the singing doctor, who has very adeptly found a balance between his daily ward rounds and his passion for music. Gianluca is the front man of a local band, whose dynamic performances and recent single releases have propelled it to the forefront of the island’s music scene. While funk and indie elements characterise the band’s distinctive sound, Bezzina draws on a wider variety of influences as a solo artist. He is mostly inspired by Michael Bubé’s brassy standards, John Mayer’s modern blues, the nu-folk style of Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale, while also being deeply captivated by Chris Tomlin’s contemporary Christian music. Gianluca is a regular singer with his prayer group and has also spent time doing voluntary work among children in Turin, Cairo and Palermo, with the sisters of Mother Theresa.
He started off his music career by playing the piano accordion, eventually shifting his focus to singing in various charity concerts around Malta, including the popular biannual Voices concerts and Rockestra, a yearly event organised by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and held under the Patronage of the President of Malta. It was through one of these charity events that songwriters Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat approached Gianluca with the intention of collaborating. Originally intended to be a radio hit, Tomorrow's feel-good factor combined with its simple yet meaningful lyrics, possessed all the necessary ingredients to take it to the Eurovision stage this year. Gianluca looks forward to broaden his experience through the Eurovision Song Contest as he feels it will give his career greater potential for growth and exposure, while allowing him to make further contacts with foreign music professionals.
In the leadup to the Eurovision Song Contest, Malta has always had a selection procedure but nevertheless, it has been altered throughout the years to reflect a similar system to the one used internationally. This years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was one of the best in terms of both quality of production as well as competing tracks and several could have represented the nation abroad. The overwhelming public favourite was Kevin Borg with the song Needing You co-written with Thomas Thornholm, Simon Gribbe, Danne Attlerud and Michael Clauss. This was the song which also won the public vote and spent a couple of days at number #1 following it's release on iTunes. The second runner-up slot went to Davinia Pace with the track Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matt Mercieca (Muxu). Davinia will be joining escflashmalta.com to comment on the second semi-final which will see Gianluca competing.
Malta has an extremely rich history at the Eurovision Song Contest, quite similar to Iceland for that matter noting that the small Mediterranean Island is yet to win the prestigious competition despite being the first runner-up on two occasions in the past decade, the first time in 2002 thanks to Ira Losco and her entry 7th Wonder composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg and the second time in 2005 with Chiara and her self-penned track Angel. Apart from that, Malta has also finished in the second runner-up position twice, in 1992 with Mary Spiteri and her song Little Child composed by Georgina Abela to the lyrics of Ray Mahoney and in 1998 with Chiara and her entry The One That I Love composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Sunny Aquilina. Last year, Malta returned to the final following a two year absence with the stunning semi-final performance of This Is The Night by Kurt Calleja.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Martin Isherwood: Nice idea for the title but a bit clever and hard to grasp. Good lyrics. Nice voice if slightly unusual sibilant sound. Great tune. Very hooky. Still reminds me of the Housemartins.
Sharon Vaughn: Hands down my favourite. This song is magical and the singer is the perfect vessel to carry it. Best of Luck!
Stano Simor: Gianluca was one of my favourite artists in this years' national selection, one which I follow closely prior to the Eurovision Song Contest. The track itself is very positive and will surely help Malta progress to the final for the second consecutive year. The caribbean sound is something specific and one which I very much enjoy to listen to.
In the western music industry, it seems that one of the artists that will not require an introduction is Anouk from The Netherlands whose past success definitely precedes her especially in the pop/rock genre which is truly a safe haven. She will be representing her home country in a bid to take them back into the final for the very first since 2004, which was also the first year in which the semi-final system was introduced. Their entry entitled Without You performed by Re-Union had failed miserably within the final achieving one of the lower end results. Birds, the track that Anouk will be presenting to Europe on the night of the first semi-final is co-written with Martin Gjerstad and Tore Johansson is a melanchonic ballad which is being perceived as finishing in the top ten.
Anouk is somewhat making a return to the music industry with her new album Sad Singalong Songs set for official release during the week of the Eurovision Song Contest under the Goldilox imprint. Birds, the first official single off the album is the most successful resounding track since 2009 when her track Woman managed to climb to number #3 in the Dutch Charts as opposed to #33 in the Belgian Charts. Her Eurovision entry has already hit number #2 in her home country as opposed to number #24 in Belgium. When one takes into account current sales through iTunes, Birds finds itself at number #24 in The Netherlands and number #75 in Sweden, therefore making it one of the most successful entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Looking at the Betting Odds at the moment, it seems that the song is seen as a contender for top five with the current list seeming putting Denmark in first place, followed by Ukraine and Norway as the first and second runners-up and Russia and The Netherlands following closely behind. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Ira Losco began her music career relatively early and achieved success as she built a road to the top noting that she went from a variety of local competitions to represent Malta within the Eurovision Song Contest, earning the first runner-up position with 7th Wonder composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. Upon her return, she was a true hero and she has built a reputable career, releasing her fifth studio album entitled The Fire, earlier this year. Working with the likes of producer, Howard Keith of Jagged House, Ira has always managed to carve out an image which keeps her grounded and true to herself.
Her latest studio album has received rave reviews from local critics and has also led the albums chart on iTunes for five consecutive weeks and the next step is promoting the material off it through a number of live performances, and one of the first will be coming at the Beland Music Festival. Alongside her band, Ira will be performing with a nine piece band on Saturday, 11th May and remember that all of the proceeds would be going to Puttinu Cares, a charity which supports children in need. Ira Losco is a true, seasoned performer and in recent months, her live performances have been absolutely stunning. This will be one of the events of the season and despite following the tough act in the form of Kevin Borg on the day before, she will have the crowd at the palm of her hand considering how much she adores all of her fans.
Supporting Ira Losco on the night will be none other than two other bands, one of them being Planet Seed which is duly fronted by Klinsmann, finalist at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on several occasions and the other one being known as The New Victorians. In the meantime, the evening shall be hosted by Moira Delia from Ilsien in-Nisa which airs on ONE Television as well as Christian Micallef who is known for hosting Replay on NET Television. Remember that you may purchase your copy of The Fire on iTunes. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Gianluca, the representative on behalf of Malta at the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat has just concluded his promotional tour across Europe. He had the pleasure of visiting a number of countries including; Armenia, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and the United Kingdom respectively. The media was present at every event and our colleagues at Radio International led by Juergen Boernig who is the escflashmalta.com Head of Communications spoke to our representative during the Eurovision In Concert within The Netherlands.
Despite being an apparent newcomer to the local music scene, Gianluca rose to fame relatively quickly having managed to come out of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as the victor ahead of artists such as Kevin Borg whose presence was well respected by the crowd. Juergen basically asked Gianluca of his plans in the lead up to the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest whilst also discussing the alternate version of Tomorrow which features all of his family members. The first time that it was performed in public was during the programme, Xarabank aired on Television Malta and following the positive public reaction, it was thought best to record it and include it on the promotional disc which could be purchased on iTunes.
One of the brand new initiative launched by the official website of the international competition is live video chats with the competing artists where fans and editors alike pose questions. Gianluca will be the one who has the honour today and as a matter of fact, Stella Floras from esctoday as well as John Stanton from eurovisionary will be joining Victor Escudero to pose the most difficult questions. The public are also urged to put their queries through by following the respective link. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to the participation of Gianluca as he takes to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest on the 16th May with the track Tomorrow which as mentioned before is co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek.
The editorial board at escflashmalta.com always has the interests of the readers at heart and for that simple reason, we have once more engaged a series of music professionals to listen to the entries competing in the Eurovision Song Contest, pass their judgement and assess them by a points system. The full result of their qualifying countries will be released on the eve of the respective semi-final. In the second semi-final, seventeen (17) countries will be in contention and in slot number five (5), the producers have decided to put none other than Finland, one of the longest competing countries. YLE, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Finland organised a national selection which saw Krista Siegfrids finish at the winner with the track Marry Me which she co-wrote alongside Erik Nyholm, Kristoffer Karlsson, Jessica Lundström.
Krista Siegfrids came to prominence following her energetic performances at the tv-show The Voice of Finland. Subsequently, the multitalented Krista has taken Finland by a storm, winning the nation’s adoration with her catchy tunes, extravagant and stylish shows and her outspoken and sunny personality. This is a woman who dares and does according to her own catch phrase more is more! Krista Siegfrids and her fabulous #TeamDingDong are representing Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest with the super catchy song Marry Me! When I was five, I was totally obsessed by Carola’s Fångad Av En Stormvind. I used to sing and perform it all the time! My favourite was the wind machine and I used the hair dryer as one!
”We have this ongoing party going on! Happiness, craziness, open-mindedness and rainbow colours! Everybody is welcome, just join #TeamDingDong! We have the best parties because we love everybody! You gotta live life to the max and be the unique great you that you are!” Krista states. Krista combines music, dancing and acting in an unique way. She has performed in musicals and cabarets as well as many gigs and shows around the Nordic countries. The show is important. I want to entertain and it is important that everybody is having fun! The bigger the better, the crazier even better! This ever-energetic sunny whirlwind and #TeamDingDong is preparing for a true blast at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden.
”This is a dream come true for me. I have been a big fan since I was five and I have followed ESC every year. It is the biggest and craziest party in the world and we will make it even bigger and crazier! #TeamDingDong will make Europe go DingDong!” Krista’s debut album is released on the 10th of May. ”The record is one big party! It’s energetic pop-rock with many party tunes. Different themes and strong tracks. Music that makes your feet and your mind move!” In 2011, Finland managed to reach the final of the Eurovision Song Contest with a third place finish but unfortunately the result was not replicated in the final and this gave the country a brand new perception, one to change the system of selection. Thus came, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu which includes three introductory shows, three elimination shows and a grand final.
The early favourites; Mikael Saari and Diandra finished in second and third place respectively with Krista obtaining a landslide tele-vote. Finland has been one of the longest contributors to the Eurovision Song Contest having entered the event for the very first time in 1961 and appearing a total of forty-six (46) times, forty-two (42) of them within the final. Their only victory came back in 2006 with the group Lordi and the song Hard Rock Hallelujah sweeping both the semi-final and the final respectively. Since their victory, the results have improved and the country has only failed to qualify twice, two being in the last two years including in 2012 when Pernilla Karlsson took to the stage with the track Nar Jag Blundar, finishing in twelfth place.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Martin Isherwood: Good strong direct title, although not sure what our more liberally minded sisters will make of the lyrics! Interesting if slightly unusual vocal. Bells always either mean Christmas or weddings so I suppose that works. Got a good contemporary feel to the production. Hints of Katy Perry. Ok overall. You never know.
Sharon Vaughn: This is the type of track that truly has the feel of a winner and could definitely be a radio hit!
Stano Simor: Krista is very good performer, singer. Generally speaking, this song has the hit factor and that is pretty much evident. Nice gimmicks and modern production. Clearly one of the best songs of semifinal. Keeping fingers crossed for this one, so good luck!
Fejn Tħobb il-Qalb and Fjura Fil-Kantina are two of the most recognised songs in the local music industry and tend to be played heavily either on radio or through guest appearances. They were both composed by none other than Maestro Ray Agius, one of the most renowned songwriters in the country. Despite being known mostly for writing the music, he has also been the individual behind some fantastic lyrics, making him a true all rounder. Nevertheless, his role in the series series entitled D.R.E.A.M.S is that of composer with lyrics being written by Michael Vella Haber and Evelyn Saliba La Rosa. The duo are also responsible for writing the script for the series, dictating the way that it evolves and creating a couple of loop holes along the way. escflashmalta.com has always been proud to support upcoming artists and this is one series which promotes the future of the local music industry. The series which airs on Television Malta, the main organ of transmittion for the Public Broadcasting Services will return for a twenty-first episode this evening.
Jade (Rachel Genovese) was surely the individual providing most of the comic moments in the past episode noting that she had to create a diversion in order for Katia (Jade Cini) to swipe the phone off Brandon (Jean Pierre Cassar). Indeed, this was a success when she almost suffocated him. The idea was to try and reveal Tiffany (Kristen Camilleri) as a completely crazed lunatic whose affections for Brandon have clouded her judgement in a bid to reclaim him from Antoinette (Annalise Psaila) who has been left out of this respective plot. In a close knit meeting, Jade alongside Katia and Jasmine (Rachael Tedesco Triccas) succeed but nevertheless, their plans might be foiled when Brandon realises what happened. It will be intriguing to see what reaction he will have especially as he confronts them with regards to the possibility that they might have his phone. Amber (Celine Cuschieri) was the second teenager involved in last weeks' storyline as her life is seemingly becoming public thanks to her friends, Chloe (Michela Dalli) and Lara (Petra Bugeja) being relatively nosey. In the past episode, Samwel (Joseph Fenech) was seen reuniting with Pamela (Lara Cuschieri) but nevertheless, it seems that the female counterpart in the equation is not feeling the moment and is trying to confront him.
The reality of it all is that the public actually knows that it is Amber who is lying in this situation in an effort to lure his father away from Amber as her mother, Frances (Sabina Attard) is soon to be released from prison. At this point in time, Amber is going to be seen as extremely frustrated with the situation now that her friends know the truth about her mother. Chloe and Lara try to reach out and do their utmost to ease the situation but Amber won't have any of it unfortunately and thus the problem will continue to grow. The final individual who will surely be involved this time round is Karen (Lara Dimech) who most recently found out that the individual she thought to be her father was not and therefore, she is setting out on a father hunt with or without the help of Jeremy (Mikhail Attard). She did wake him up in the middle of the night but he seems to have a plan for more issues to come to light, ones which would resolve other issues. Another scintillating episode of D.R.E.A.M.S awaits on Television Malta right after the evening news bulletin at around 20:45 CET. Remember that every part of the episode bears a lot of importance and thus it is vital that one sees it through.
Source: Rewind Productions
Kevin Borg, first runner-up at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Needing You which he co-wrote with Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm and Danne Attlerud will be returning to his home country in order to give a major concert. This event set for the 10th May 2013 will be taking place in the locality of Żejtun and will be kicking off this years' edition of The Beland Music Festival in aid of Puttinu Cares. In recent years, this prestigious week long of activities has been receiving a lot of exposure and attention from both locals and foreigners. Entertainment is offered for the whole week free of charge with a number of volunteers going round and collecting donations for a just cause.
The Beginning, the debut album from Kevin Borg following his success in the talent show, Idol managed to climb to number #3 in the Swedish charts and that was the beginning of what has been a pretty positive career. Within the first studio album, there were a number of hit singles including With Every Bit of Me, Street Lights and The Last Words. In recent years, songwriting has become more concurrent for the performer and as matter of fact, has a publishing deal with Lionheart Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music in Sweden. He has been working with a number of artists including none other than Robin Stjernberg who will represent Sweden with the track You. Kevin has always kept Malta close to heart and despite finishing in second place at the end of January, has pledged to support Gianluca in the best possible way as he represents Malta in Sweden with his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat.
escflashmalta.com is proud to support The Beland Music Festival for a third year running and for this simple reason, our aim is to give you a detailed look at who will be performing and when. As a matter of fact, more articles will be released in the coming days. On the 10th May, Kevin Borg will also be supported by former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Glen Vella and one his backing vocalists, in the form of Pamela. In the meantime, Maestro Paul Abela has been enlisted to conduct the band as each performer takes to the stage to perform in a live manner. The hosts for the evening will be none other than Ronald Briffa and Pauline Agius, both of whom have hosted several competitions in recent years. Stay tuned for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available and do not forget to buy Needing You on iTunes to continue supporting Kevin Borg.
Source: The Beland Music Festival